So Much To Write About… 21st Century School Leaderhip

Boy has it been an intense few weeks. I have so much to write about and will soon. In the mean time, I have a thought.

Last week I had a conversation with a colleague about his head of school. My colleague said the following in reference to technology, education and our changing landscape, “Yeah, my head is young and great, but he doesn’t even get it.”

So Saturday morning, I got up and thought, what about a leadership academy for school heads, principles, and any other school leader that would help them see this new world, these new literacies, and the new frontier that we must adjust our educational system to work with, instead of against.

I Googled for sites that would cover 21st Century School Leadership issues and found some, but most of the links went back to Chris Lehmann at Science Leadership Academy.

Warlick, Richardson, Lehmann and others write about School 2.0, but to get there, I believe we need to have leaders who “get it.” So how do we get our leaders to “get it?” We train them, right? (I know it’s not quite that simple, but…)

Maybe this is the type of project that will help fund. What do you think, Dave? Or some national organization or international organization.

What do you think? Do you know of any leadership academy that does this type of work?

10 thoughts on “So Much To Write About… 21st Century School Leaderhip

  1. Alex and readers,

    I think that before we get a lot of principals and heads of schools to seek out training on school 2.0 or even pay attention, it has to become something that solves a problem for them.

    The difference is that those of us who “get it” and talk about it see an education system that is broken, in terms of the needs of today’s children, inheritors of the 21st century. We see a market place, and learners, and an information landscape that has changed dramatically, but also a schooling system that resides in a cocoon of its own invention and its own image.

    The corporate world is beginning to recognize a need for a new way of preparing children for their needs, and our children recognize this, and I suspect will become even more vocal in their resistance. I suspect that the need, the problem, will make itself clear pretty soon. We simply need to be ready with a clear message and model that they can understand and implement.

  2. Hey Alex, (and chris and dave)

    I would love educationbridges to be involved in developing the literacies and providing the exposure and sense of perspective needed to ‘get it’. It could be something that we move towards as a community.

    My only concern, as so often happens when one group thinks it knows what’s going on and plans to send the ‘clear message and model’ that dave is talking about is this…

    “who is going to create that model?”

    I’m sure any group of we who consider ourselves the ‘getters’ would have vastly different ideas about where we need to go. I think of a combination of, oh, dave and Leigh Blackall.

    I’m far more interested in creating a space where people can take their own model back to their own context. A training center(re)/community that would give access to conversations, to new visions… not offer a clear model predescribed by ‘experts.’

    But, lets face it, we’ve all already created these places. The problem is a combination of time, willingness and the money to backfill these folks so that they would have time to think about this stuff.

  3. David and others,

    Thanks for your comment… So if I’m reading you correctly, we should be watching for ways to puncture the cocoon. I think that there are a few folks around the country that are beginning to see this. There’s the skills commission and a number of other groups beginning to start that conversation.

    I think that we need a place for leaders who are beginning to “get it” to go and develop further. To stretch their thinking and begin to turn their cruise liners away from the iceberg. It does take a lot to turn a cruise ship thought.

    So this would start small, but it sounds like Chris is starting this summer. I’m excited to see his vision.

    What else am I going to do? I’m going to discuss this with my Head of School and faculty. To frame the conversation at my school. There lots to do on that front, but it’s an exciting time to be in education.

  4. Dave (cormier) — Yes, I agree that the spaces are here, but as you stated we need to slow folks down so that they look at those spaces and study them. They need to study what their students are doing, figure out what school needs to add to that ‘doing’, and then take that back to their context — and implement it. This will probably take multiple runs through as well.

    That’s a tall task, but I think with the right network of people, it’s possible.

  5. Though I have not been, some say that the Lausanne Laptop Institute is already successful at attracting school administrators. Since the institute should ideally only be about the tool, this seems like a good place to start.


  6. Great discussion here. Dave (Warlick), I hear what you’re saying about solving a problem, but we generally don’t frame it like that. Our approach with admins has been more of, if we don’t adapt, we will have a big problem. Maybe that is just semantics, but it helps me with my approach with administrators.

    If teaching doesn’t evolve with modern times, we don’t deserve to be teaching. I have been watching Karl Fisch’s “Don’t You Know” video (5mins) over and over. All educators should be required to watch it.

  7. You may not be familiar with the work of the UK’s National College for School Leadership ( at Nottingham. A quick glance at their site does not reveal if they specifically cover the areas in which you are interested, but it might be worth a look. Oh, and the people at NCSL are ardent enthusiasts and just….so nice!

  8. Pingback: Leadership and Technology - CASTLE… at Learning Blog

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